On Being Terrified

I love feelings.

I’ve uttered that sentence to so many people ever since I first thought it. I think it was when I was training to be a Resident Assistant and realized that everyone has a lot of them (not only me!). I decided I must love them, and never looked back.

Some of them are easier to love than others. And some of them, the sneakiest feelings, hide away and you don’t even know they’re lurking until some triggering thought/thing/person/event tempts them out.

My current feelings about IMPENDING BIG ADVENTURE:

Excited (duh), apprehensive, curious, confident, optimistic, vulnerable, unsettled, uncertain, powerful, shy, frustrated, restless, longing, wistful, intrigued, flirtatious, and TERRIFIED!

Most people respond to “I’m going to France!” with “Oh, how exciting! You’ll have an amazing time.” I probably will. And I’m super excited. But amidst all the head-bobbing “yes i’m so excited”s that I’ve responded with lately, I realized that I am also terrified. There are so many things to be terrified of, and the scariest of all those things is the Totally Unknown. Which is what the entire next year of my life is to me, at this moment.

I don’t know where I’ll live, I don’t know if I’ll manage to open a bank account to put my paychecks in, or whether I’ll get an affordable phone, or who my friends will be, or what the city I’ll be inhabiting looks like (not to mention which city it will even be), or whether or not I’ll win over apathetic French high school students (or whether or not they’ll be apathetic), or who I’m working with, or even what I’ll be doing. I’ve got a contact teacher’s name, a brief e-mail exchange, a visa receipt (nope, not the visa yet, it’s being mailed though, victory!), the Guide de l’Assistant de Langue en France, some rusty-(but-formerly-kickass) language skills, and the vaguest idea of what will go in my suitcase. And a one-way ticket to Paris.

But — and here’s where my love of feelings gets truly unconditional — I think a person who is terrified of being terrified would not do it. Not to say that if you don’t do it, you’re a terrified person. I know plenty of people that could survive a stint abroad with flair and gusto and grace who prefer to do other things, and I most love when people do what feels right for them. But in Anne-land, even though this feels like an exceptionally difficult and scary thing to do sometimes (and more times when I’m there, probably), abject terror is A-okay. And I’m craving the inspiration, the challenge, the adventure, the personal growth, and all of the feelings to-be-experienced, pleasant and unpleasant, when I’m finally set loose into this Big Unknown Future of mine.

(27 days!)


On Being Terrified

One thought on “On Being Terrified

  1. This, 1000 times this:

    “And some of them, the sneakiest feelings, hide away and you don’t even know they’re lurking until some triggering thought/thing/person/event tempts them out.”

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